More tips on adjusting your office chair

Further tips on the correct use of your Office Chair

In my last post I looked at the importance of making sure you are using your Office Chair correctly to minimise neck pain.

Here are some further pointers on how to correctly set up your Office Chair to ensure you are properly positioned and comfortable.

The height of the Office seat should be set so that your feet are in overall contact with the floor whilst allowing your back to be straight and in firm contact with your Office Chair back.

When correctly positioned you should be able to place a sheet of paper under your thigh and then be able to withdraw it reasonably easily by pulling it.

If you are able to adjust the seat depth of your Office Chair you should set it so that you are able to place your clenched fist between the edge of the seat and the back of your knee. In other words you shouldn’t be sitting in your chair with the underside of your knee joint hard against the seat pad. Conversely you shouldn’t be perched on the edge of your Office Chair with loads of room between the seat pad edge and the underside of your knee joint.

If you aren’t particularly tall then you may very well need to buy a footrest to ensure your seating position is correct in your Office Seat.

Chair arms, where adjustable, should be set to ensure that your lower arm is level with your desk top so you can move you arms comfortably when typing or using the mouse with your chair.

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Do you suffer from neck pain?

A lot of people complain of suffering with neck pain when typing or keying in data on their PC and naturally tend to blame their Office Chair.

Whilst the chair may very well be to blame, it doesn’t necessarily follow that your Office Seat is at fault.

Frequently, neck and back pain can occur due to poor posture and seating position. We have a tendency to crane our neck and face forward from our swivel chair towards the screen without realising it.

Also, people tend to sit in a particular way in their Office Chair that frequently results in poor posture. For example, if you have written several pages of notes or have some other copy that you need to key in to your PC, take a moment to observe the way you are sitting in your chair. When typing from written notes or information do you tend to always place them on one side of you? Are you frequently looking down at them?

If you are doing some or all of the above here’s how you can help yourself.

First, make sure that your chair is positioned correctly so that you are square on to your monitor and can read the screen’s contents comfortably without straining. Position your Office Chair such that your eyes are level with the top half of your screen and between 18 – 24 inches away without craning your neck forward, let it rest naturally on your shoulders.

Second, if you are copy typing then get a good copy holder and move it frequently from your left to your right, at least at five minute intervals. This will minimise the risk of adopting a poor seating position without realising it.

So before buying that new Office Chair try the above tips and see if it helps as your old chair might be fine. I’ll come back to this topic in my next post with some further tips.

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Should I have arms on my office chair?

The majority of Office Chair users use chairs with arms and personally I think this is a good idea. Correctly used, arms can definitely be beneficial in relieving the potential likelihood of repetitive strain injury (RSI).

Ideally, the arms should be height adjustable, that way the user can set up the arm height to suit their exact requirements independent of the Office Chair height. Nonetheless, for those who do a lot of typing arms can sometimes be a hindrance. So it really is a case of individual choice.

Bottom line: if you are unsure whether or not to have arms on your Office Seat see if you can try out a sample with and without arms first. If this isn’t possible err on the side of caution and buy a chair with arms, remember in a lot of cases you can usually remove them if you don’t like them

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